Category: Recent News

2018 Winter Break & 2019-2020 School Calendar

One of the real joys this holiday season is the opportunity to say thank you.

Thank you to all MTI members for your hardwork and your dedication to MMSD students. MTI is successful because of YOU.As a member-led organization we advocate for MTI members and students in order to advance quality public education. We appreciate all that you do for students and for the goodwill of our organization. 

We hope you are excited for some well-deserved time away from school. 

As a friendly (and happy) reminder: WinterBreak for school year employees lasts from Monday, December 24 though Friday, January 4, 2019. 

MTI is dedicated to ensuring members (both school year and 12-month employees) have vacation, holiday, and floating time to enjoy the holiday season. As we ring in the New Year we would also like to share the 2019-2020 School Calendar. 

Highlights of the School Calendar 2019-20

  • We have retained a 2-week winter break; 
  • There will continue to be 6 Staff Only days throughout the year;
  • Together, we secured a 1-week spring break; 
  • New Teacher days will be August 21-23, followed by the Staff Learning/Prep days August 26-29, and the Voluntary day on August 30; 
  • The student year will begin the day after Labor Day, September 3, 2019 and end on June 10, 2020, with the last Staff Only day on June 11, 2020; 
  • Parent-teacher conferences for middle and high schools will be held during the third and fourth full weeks of November, and the comp day will continue to be the day before Thanksgiving (November 28 is Thanksgiving); and 
  • Teachers will have an additional day off on February 28, 2020. 

Thank you for continuing to stand together in solidarity on important issues that impact your profession. Feel free to contact MTI’s calendar committee members or the MTI office should you have any questions about the upcoming year. 

May you soar into 2019 filled with health, happiness and prosperity!

Solidarity &Happy Holidays from all of us at MTI. 

School Calendar 2019-20!

Teacher Salary Schedule Update – December 6, 2018

Good news!

At the December 3 meeting of the Teacher Salary Schedule/Compensation work group, we reached consensus on recommended teacher salary schedule changes. These recommendations were forwarded to the Employee Handbook Review Committee for their review on Thursday, December 6, and will be shared with the Board of Education on Monday, December 10.

We are pleased to report that the only recommended changes to the schedule will be those that the MTI participants to the committee support, including:

  • Moving Improvement levels to every 5 years with 6 academic and/or PAC credits required to pass
  • Removing half-steps for part-time employees, allowing part-time employees to advance a full step annually in same manner as full-time employees
  • Removing 2-year holds after Step 15, providing for annual step movement
    • Teachers in the BA tracks at levels 15 and above will receive approximately an 0.87% increase every year instead of 1.75% every two years
    • Teachers in the MA and PhD tracks at levels 15 and above will receive approximately a 1% increase every year instead of 2% every other year
  • Renaming steps to alpha rather than numerical

These recommendations represent a significant accomplishment for this Committee and for our Union. After we bargained a 2.13% cost-of-living base-wage increase for 2018-19, the BOE directed District Administration to work with MTI to identify modifications to the teacher salary schedule which would make it “more sustainable” (i.e. less costly). While committing to collaborate with the District on exploring potential changes that we felt were in our members’ interest, we consistently opposed any salary schedule changes which would reduce investments in our teaching staff. We shared this position repeatedly with District Administration and the Board of Education. At their November 12 meeting, the majority of the BOE agreed with us and amended their directive to District Administration to seek reductions in the schedule. Now we have reached consensus recommendations which retain the value and integrity of the salary schedule.

As always, we have much work ahead, including significant compensation issues such as health insurance premium renewals and base-wage bargaining for 2019-20, but our successful protection of the integrity of the teacher salary schedule is a major accomplishment.

MTI Salary/Compensation Handbook Work Group includes: Pamela Ferrill, Holly Hansen, John Howe, Nobel Perez, Kristin Scheffler, Ben Senson, Steve Somerson, Susan Stern, Amy Turkowski, Andy Waity, Kati Walsh, Jeff Knight, and Doug Keillor.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. 

We Did It! All MTI Bargaining Units have Successfully Recertified by Large Margins!


The WERC posted the MTI recertification election results this afternoon and each of MTI’s bargaining units have successfully recertified, continuing MTI as their certified labor representative.

  • In the Teacher unit, 90% of eligible voters cast ballots, with 99% of those voting to recertify.
  • In the ESEA unit, 69% of eligible voters cast ballots, with 99% of those voting to recertify.
  • In the USO unit, 53% of eligible voters cast ballots, with 99% of those voting to recertify.

The huge turnout and large margin of victory is a testament to the solidarity of our Union, the hard work of hundreds of MTI member organizers, and the continued commitment of 3,529 MTI-represented employees to“stand together”for our profession, our students, and our public schools.
Now it’s time to take a brief break, give thanks, and return to work after the holiday to provide the public schools our staff and community deserves.

Thanks to all who made their voices heard loud and clear by voting YES MTI!

Grow Our Own – Teacher Dual Certification Program

Consider this exciting opportunity!

The Student Services – Grown Our Own Teacher Dual Certification Program is intended for general education classroom teachers who are pursuing a cross categorical special education certification and for cross categorical special education teachers who are pursuing bilingual certification in MMSD.  Selected candidates are eligible to receive a $1,000 per each 3 credit course taken.  There is no limit on the number of courses that can be reimbursed each semester.  The District shall provide tuition reimbursement to a participant after successful course completion.  Successful completion of a course shall be evidenced by a report from the school showing a passing grade of “B” or better.

Apply online at the Student Services website: under Grow Our Own.  Also, please see the Participation Agreement on-line.

If you have any questions about the program please contact Scott Zimmerman at or by phone at 663-8486.

A New Day!

We just received word that Governor Walker conceded the election!

In 2011, Governor Walker entered office with an intentional strategy to “divide and conquer.” His signature Act 10, dramatically cut funding for education by $1 billion, stripped public employees of nearly all bargaining rights, and discouraged a generation of young people from entering public service. Our state and nation have been divided and simplified into two colors – neither of which adequately represents the myriad shades of our common humanity.
While the people have been divided, we have not been conquered. When the state abdicated its responsibility to adequately fund our public schools, local communities, including Madison, stepped up and passed school referenda in overwhelming numbers to help fund their public schools. When the state stripped bargaining rights, unions such as MTI reorganized and adapted to the new political environment, finding new and innovative ways to collectively advocate for public education, students, and educators. We continue to stand together! 
Last night, we elected a new Governor, Tony Evers, who is intent on uniting our state rather than dividing us further, driven by issues rather than ideology. Evers is a pragmatist with a lifelong commitment to advancing public education and restoring respect to those who teach our children and serve our communities. Assuming the election results stand, Evers will be joined by Mandela Barnes who shares his passion for public education and inclusion, and will proudly serve our state as the first African-American elected to serve as Lieutenant Governor.
Unfortunately, Tony and Mandela will not be joined by new pro-education majorities in either the State Assembly or the State Senate and will be challenged in advancing all of the goals they shared during the campaign. But, make no mistake, if these election results stand, this is a huge victory and brings hope and opportunity for public education and educators.
We will have much collective work ahead of us as we continue to work to build the schools that our students deserve, but we will now be joined by strong allies in the Governor’s office committed to rolling up their sleeves and doing the hard work with us. Thanks to all of you who contributed to this effort along the way.

Celebrate this new day.  And, if you have yet to vote to Stand Together and recertify MTI, click here.  Thank you!

Madison Teachers Inc Receives Grant from NEA Great Public Schools Fund

Madison, Wisconsin – Madison Teachers Inc. (MTI), an affiliate of Wisconsin Education Association Council and the National Education Association, will use a $615,000 three-year NEA GPS Fund Grant to create support systems for early career educators aimed at diversifying the workforce, increasing teacher retention and efficacy, and closing student achievement gaps. Click here to learn more!

Stay Current on Educator Licensure Changes

The 2017-19 Wisconsin state budget made major changes to teacher licensing in Wisconsin, and for the last several months the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has been rewriting the rules to match the new laws. WEAC’s licensure specialist has put together a Frequently Asked Questions document to address the questions union members are asking about these changes.

Consider Becoming an MTI Leader

Do you have ideas on how to improve your profession or better advocate for your students?  Consider applying your ideas, energy and efforts as an elected leader of MTI.  MTI is a democratic Union with nearly 200 teachers currently serving in an elected or appointed leadership capacity.

MTI Faculty Representative:  Serving as an MTI Faculty Representative is the most common point of entry to Union leadership.  If you are interested in serving as an MTI Faculty Rep at your work location, see your senior MTI Faculty Rep or contact MTI staff.

For those ready to take the next step in MTI leadership, positions are currently available on MTI Board of Directors, Finance Committee, Handbook/Bargaining Committee, Political Action Committee, and Cabinet on Personnel.

Nominations will be received at the September 25 meeting of the MTI Faculty Representative Council to fill MTI Board At-Large positions and Committee vacancies caused by retirement or resignations, and for terms that are expiring.  Nominations for any of the positions described in this article can be called in to MTI Headquarters (257-0491) prior to the September Council meeting, or made from the floor at the September Council meeting by an MTI Faculty Representative.  Pursuant to MTI Bylaws, the election for all referenced positions will be held at the October Council meeting.

MTI Board of Directors.  At-Large terms expire for:

  • Pete Opps
  • Jessica Hotz
  • A vacancy exists due to Michael Jones being elected Vice-President

The MTI Board of Directors manages the affairs of MTI in accordance with the policies established by the Faculty Rep Council, the Joint Fiscal Group and the Cabinet on Personnel.  The Board consists of 9 members.  Five officers are elected by the general membership and four At-Large positions are elected by the MTI Faculty Representative Council.  Meetings of the MTI Board are generally held on the second Tuesday of the month, at 4:30pm at MTI Headquarters.

Finance Committee.  One-year terms expire for:

  • Bruce Bobb (Hoyt) seeking re-election.
  • Holly Hansen (Lapham) seeking re-election.
  • A vacancy exists due to the retirement of Cindy Barbera.

The Finance Committee prepares the annual MTI Budget for consideration by the MTI Joint Fiscal Group. The MTI Finance Committee meets each year and generally completes its business in February, given that under MTI’s Bylaws the Budget is presented at the March meeting of the MTI Joint Fiscal Group and is voted upon at the April meeting.
Cabinet on Personnel.  Two-tear terms expire for:

  • Holly Hansen (Lapham) seeking re-election.
  • Cindy Ball (Jefferson) seeking re-election..

The Cabinet on Personnel oversees MTI’s employment relations with its staff. The Cabinet meets on an as-needed basis.
Political Action Committee (MTI VOTERS).  Two-year terms expire for:

  • Kathryn Burns (Shorewood) seeking re-election.
  • Sandy Welander (Schenk) seeking re-election.
  • Liz Donnelly (Elvehjem) seeking re-election.
  • Three vacancies exist due to retirements/resignation.  Nobel Perez (Muir/Crestwood) and Abby Morrison (Olson) have been nominated for two of the positions. 

MTI’s Political Action Committee usually meets once per month, and additionally as necessary to interview candidates for election in Wisconsin’s primary and general elections. The Committee recommends endorsements for consideration by MTI members.
Handbook/Bargaining Committee.  Nominations for two (2) positions on the MTI Handbook/Bargaining Committee. 

  • One vacancy exists for a student services high school representative due to a resignation. The term expires May, 2021.
  • A second vacancy exists for an elementary school representative due to a reassignment.  The term expires May, 2019.

The Handbook/Bargaining Committee researches and makes recommendations on issues to bargain/discuss and selects participants to engage in: 1) negotiations with the District over Collective Bargaining Agreements, and 2) discussions over revisions to the Employee Handbook. The Committee meets annually on an as needed basis.

If you have any questions about these vacancies or would like more information, please contact MTI President Andy Waity or MTI Executive Director Doug Keillor.

High School Scheduling Update

MTI staff and MTI Faculty Reps from each comprehensive high school met with the District to discuss potential changes to the high school bell schedule across the district.   In the meeting the District explained the why and need for exploring other models and provides information in this Executive Summary.

 In addition to the student-centered criteria identified previously, the MTI Reps advocated that criteria also be established to ensure that educators receive sufficient planning and preparation time, as well as a reasonable number of class prep assignments, in the consideration of any revised bell schedule. 

MTI Reps will be working with high school teachers this fall to identify and share those professional needs and concerns as part of Employee Handbook discussions as well as the quarterly collaboration meetings. The MTI Reps also requested that the District provide all high school staff with and update of this work, as well as identify continued avenues for employee voice as these changes are considered.  

The District will also be administering a survey to inform educators of the options being considered and collect feedback. This feedback will be shared with the MTI-MMSD High School Scheduling work group, as we meet quarterly to continue the discussion. MTI encourages all MTI-represented high school staff to complete the survey to share their thoughts and perspectives.

Join in the Foundations for Madison Schools #schoolsmakemadison Campaign

MTI is a co-sponsor for this campaign and encourages members to participate. Campaign kits will be delivered to all schools on Tuesday with 50 t-shirts. A special welcome back will be happening at our 5 High Schools.


From the Foundation, “Together with the Madison Metropolitan School District, and with generous support from Madison Teachers, Inc., we teamed up to salute teachers and staff as Educators, Allies, and Community Builders!


MTI Members are asked to participate and promote this event by wearing an event T-shirt, sharing a selfie or back to school photo #schoolsmakemadison, promote the event on social media and connect with the Foundation for Madison Schools on Facebook or Twitter.

Event Social media image

Full event info link here

Foundation’s Billboard Launch Promoting Madison Public Schools

Also from the Foundation, “Travel around Madison this week and you will see billboards staring our local scholars celebrating how Schools Make Madison and linking to That’s – the Foundation! …We also are pleased to draw widespread attention to the needs of our schools – for time, material and financial resources, and for strong community partners like YOU! Enjoy these positive billboards and get involved with the Foundation’s work today!”